At the top of Gellert Hill, in front of the Citadella stands this impressive statue, Szabadság szobor, or Liberation Monument which was erected in 1947 to commemorate Hungary's liberation from the Nazis. Originally, a representation of a Soviet soldier stood below the main statue, but this was removed to Statue Park after the fall of Communism.
Gellert Hill lies on the Buda side of the Danube, to the south of Obuda, between Erszebet hid and Szabadsag hid ('hid' meaning bridge). The hill was named after Szent Gellert (St. Gerard), who was a bishop who played an important part in converting Hungary to Christianity. He was thrown to his death from this hill.
At the top of the hill is the Citadella, where some wonderful views over the city and the Danube are available.
You absolutely must visit the Citadella. I made the mistake of missing this on my first visit. Then I spent almost two years living in Budapest without visiting. When I finally did I couldn't believe what I had been missing. The Citadella offers some of the best views I have ever seen anywhere in the world. Prague might be prettier, Paris more elegant, and London more impressive, but nothing I have seen there matches the views of Budapest from the Citadella.
The views must have been spectacular here before there was even a city. The Danube snaking down the valley, and the green forested hills rolling along the horizon. But when you add in the enormity of the Castle District, the blanket of multicoloured roofs soaking up the summer sunshine, and the network of bridges criss-crossing the glistening Danube, you have something that you'll not see anywhere else on the planet. You'll understand very quickly why this is such a popular place to visit, and such an exclusive and expensive part of Budapest.
The Citadella itself was built as a fortification by the Austrians back in the 19th century. Later the communists added the victory statue to the front, leaning out over the Danube. That statue is now the Citadella's most prominent structure, so it's not surprising that as soon as the Iron Curtain fell, the Hungarians changed the monument from one celebrating the Soviet "liberation" to one celebrating all those who gave their lives for liberty.
You can walk around the Citadella for free, or you can go inside to see the museum and get even better views from its walls. The price is steep, though, at 1200 forints per person.
Note: Unfortunately my pictures, due to the sheer scale of the views, don't do them justice. I also suspect that getting up onto the Citadella walls would give much better pictures, due to less trees.
This is a good place to walk off your tensions. It has a number of winding trails that take you to the top for the statues commemorating the loss of Russian soldiers in taking back the city from Germany in WWII. There is a fort on top of the hill called Citadella. It was occupied to watch the territory for years. It is almost 700 feet high and the walk can be fatiguing. The Liberty statues on top is seen for miles, as intended; that is what the Russians intended.
This hill offers the best view of Budapest. It's a moderately steep, fairly difficult hike up to the top (no problem for a fit walker). From there, one can see forever--see the main photo for my Budapest page.
Near the top is a statue of St Gellert, Budapest's patron saint. A waterfall graces the hillside.
At the summit stands the Monument to the Liberation. Also, be sure to visit the Citadella, where the Hapsburg rulers built a fortress with a commanding view of the city. It also served as a prison, gaining the nickname "Budapest Bastille". During the Cold War, an anti-aircraft artillery battery stood here.
On the way, be sure to check out the Cave Church. Consecrated in 1926, it was run by monks of the Pauline Order (the only holy order of Hungarian origin) until the 1950s. After the 1956 revolt, the Communists executed their leader and walled up the place. But it was reopened in 1989.
Nearby is the Hotel Gellert, famed for its thermal baths. I didn't visit this place, but the gorgeous Art Nouveau building is visible from across the Danube.
You can climb the Gellert Hill starting at the Elisabeth Bridge near the Gellert Monument, or you can take the route starting at the Gellert Hotel. If you prefer, you can travel up the hill by automobile or hop one of the city’s public buses (#27 starting at Móricz Zsigmond körtér).
At the other side of the hill, near the Elisabeth Bridge is a statue of Bishop Gellert, the martyr after whom the hill was named. The monument was built in 1904 at the site where Gellert was presumably killed in the 11th century.
Erected atop the hill in 1947, the Liberation Monument pays homage to the Soviet soldiers that freed the city from the Nazis during World War II. A palm-bearing statue of a female stands about 40 meters (130 feet) in the air. Visitors will also find a statue of a Soviet soldier here as well as the names of the Soviets that died in battle at Budapest.
Named for a Christian martyr, Gellert Hill rises majestically above the Danube River, offering visitors a panoramic view of the city of Budapest.
About Gellert Hill
Gellert Hill, rising about 430 feet (140 meters) above sea level, is named for Bishop Gellert (Gerald), known for his mission to spread Christianity throughout Hungary. After the death of Saint Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary, legend has it that the rebelling insurgent pagan Magyars sealed Gellert up in a barrel and hurled him down the side of the hill.
Atop Gellert Hill sits the Citadel, a structure built by the Austrian Habsburgs between 1850 and 1854 in order to better control the city after the suppression of the Hungarian War of Independence. This fortress, which sits at the top of the hill, was originally about 200m (220 yards) long with walls about 6m/20 ft high and up to 3m/10 ft thick.
When the Habsburgs left Budapest in 1897, ownership of the fortress reverted to the city. They tore down part of the walls as a symbol of victory against the Austrians. However, the Citadel was to be used again to house Hungarian soldiers.
The Citadel also played a role in World War II. Historians point out that it was from the Citadel that Germans held the city at bay.
Today, the old barracks have been converted to a tourist hotel and the structure mostly serves as a place from which guests can enjoy views of the city and the pretty Danube River below.
Also known as the Citadel hill, this 235 metre hill provides a great view over Budapest and the hill is set in a park location with numerous wee walking tracks.
The hill is named after a monk St Gellert who was from the reign of King Stephen I. On this hill, along is geographic fault, medicinal springs emerge which supply the Gellert, Rudas and Rac baths.
On the top of the hill is a museum and numerous vendors ply their local crafts trade which makes for an interesting stop.
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